Recommended Reads on Innovation and Design Thinking

The best way to learn about design thinking and innovation is to get your hands dirty and try it, but we’d be remiss if we didn’t suggest some of the books that help contextualize what we do at Spring2 Innovation. 

Here’s a list of our favourite reads to get you started.

 

Designing Your Life

In Designing Your Life, the authors – both professors at Stanford – Bill Burnett and Dave Evans show us how design thinking can help create a life that is both meaningful and fulfilling. 

The same design thinking principles we teach our course participants to use when designing products, policies, services and spaces, can be applied to your work and home life to empower your creativity, productivity and problem solving skills. Designing Your Life is also offered as a course at Stanford, taught by the authors, and is cited as one of the university’s most popular offerings, and its top elective. 

 

The Other Side of Innovation 

Companies often put more emphasis on generating ideas than on executing them, but without execution good ideas don’t come to fruition, or tangibly exist. In The Other Side of Innovation, veteran authors and innovators, Vijay Govindarajan and Chris Trimble, reveal the important process after ideation and how to execute an innovative idea. 

Drawing on examples from innovation leaders across an array of companies and industries, this book provides advice to build better teams, drive experimentation, and assess performance within your own organization or team. 

 

Design Thinking at Work: How Innovative Organizations are Embracing Design

Design Thinking at Work outlines the roadblocks organizations often face when developing and implementing innovation strategies, and how design thinking can be applied to solve these complex challenges. 

Author David Dunne, professor and director of the MBA program at the University of Victoria, did proprietary research with multinationals, governments, and nonprofits, using examples and case studies from his research to teach valuable lessons and provide practical applications for design thinking in the workplace.

 

Leading Public Sector Innovation: Co-creating for a Better Society

Innovation in public services has become increasingly important for governments’ ability to embrace and empower societal changes. A great read for public servants anywhere, Leading Public Sector Innovation shows how government agencies can use co-creation to overcome barriers and deliver more value to citizens and businesses. 

Author Christian Bason is the CEO of the Danish Design Centre in Copenhagen – one of the world’s most innovative countries – and uses his knowledge, combined with global examples and case studies, to provide concrete steps for re-designing government agencies to be more innovative, citizen-centric and collaborative. 

 

Change By Design 

Written by one of the forefathers of Design Thinking and IDEO CEO Tim Brown, Change By Design, outlines how the techniques and strategies of design thinking apply at every level of business, and the importance of a human-centered approach to driving innovation. 

This is a great read for creative leaders who want to infuse design thinking methodology into all aspects of their organization, product, or service, and develop alternatives for business and society.

 

 

Service Design for Business: A Practical Guide to Optimizing the Customer Experience

Written by the experts at Livework, an international service design company, Service Design for Business serves as a practical guide to meeting customer needs and demands. 

Livework pioneered the service design industry and offers a number or real-world case studies from their client work in this book, with comprehensive steps to put service design to work in your company to solve the ongoing challenge of winning with customers.

 

 

Selling Change: 101 Secrets for Growing Sales by Leading Change

In today’s society nothing is static, including a companies’ products, services, clients, or competitors. Keeping up with this ongoing evolution requires a strong change management strategy. 

In Selling Change, author Brett Clay explains why change should be a central theme in any sales strategy. The book takes readers through the five disciplines of change leadership and how their application can help companies advance the goals of their end-users and achieve explosive sales growth. 

 

 

Designing for Growth

In this book, Authors Jeanne Liedtka, professor and associate dean of the MBA program at the University of Virginia, and Tim Ogilvie, CEO of Peer Insight, explore the power of design thinking for maximal business growth. 

A great read for leaders looking to scale their organization, Designing for Growth covers design thinking methodology, unpacks the connection between design and growth, and teaches readers how to harness the effectiveness of design in their work.